MOST unveils plan for robotics production base

The Ministry of Science and Technology unveiled plans May 3 to set up an artificial intelligence and robotics production base as part of wider government efforts to foster the AI industry and bolster Taiwan's competitiveness in smart manufacturing.

Under the initiative, facilities for the promotion of cross-sector R&D and talent cultivation are expected to be established in the Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung City and the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan and Kaohsiung cities. The ministry forecasts the four-year program will help create 50 new innovative companies as well as train some 4,000 AI and robotics industry personnel.

According to MOST Minister Chen Liang-gee, his ministry is seeking a budget of NT$2 billion (US$66 million) for the plan. This funding is expected to come from the NT$46 billion earmarked for digital infrastructure under the Cabinet's proposed Forward-looking Infrastructure Program, he said.

Titled Maker Space, the base is designed to foster cooperation between science park resident companies, educational institutions, private enterprises and research organizations. Sites established under the plan will host R&D and testing facilities for new technologies to accelerate innovative product development.

To train the next generation of tech innovators, the base will organize competitions, forums, seminars and training courses on key emerging technologies. These measures are intended to build on recent government progress in expanding collaboration on talent cultivation between local science parks and overseas institutions.

A burgeoning hub of smart technologies, Taiwan is home to several of the world's leading semiconductor companies as well as some 13,000 machinery factories employing roughly 470,000 people. Promotion of the smart machinery sector is one of the core components of the government's five-plus-two innovative industries initiative, an economic restructuring program also targeting biotech and pharmaceuticals, green energy, national defense and the Internet of Things, as well as the promotion of two concepts: the circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development.

Unveiled in March by the Executive Yuan, the FIP is aimed at stimulating growth and driving Taiwan's industrial transformation over the next 30 years. Budgeted at NT$880 billion, it spans five main areas: digital infrastructure, railways, renewable energy, urban-rural development and water resources, and is forecast to add NT$975.9 billion to the country's real gross domestic product over eight years while creating up to 50,000 new jobs.

Source: Taiwan Today